Friday Snippet #51

autunno in Umbria banner resized

Right in the middle of Off the Beaten Path Giveaway, I’ve taken a break from the guest posts to enjoy a beautiful autumnal afternoon. Around the ridge, trees are reddening and orange leaves are falling. The air is crisp and the sky is terse.

Gaia is in the hands of the second and final proofreader. Elios and Marie’s Journey are both being edited. Gaia’s cover is almost done as well. For the first time after months, I don’t even remember how long it has passed since last time it happened, I am writing something new. Well, Notturno it’s one of those projects I started one year ago, but I never finished it, therefore it counts as new to me.

From Notturno, a NA fanstasy novel:

Dalia found the three of them more and more revolting as minutes passed. She shrank to the farthest corner of the cage, hoping they would leave her inside and never come close enough to touch her.

The woman who was now staring at her with unblinking black eyes, held a malevolent expression on her wrinkled face. She shook her head in mock disappointment. “By the end of your staying here with us, you’ll wish the mercs kept you.”

Dalia would have told her she was already of the same opinion, but she closed her mouth tight. Her new captors didn’t seem sound of mind, and she was already of the impression that anything she’d say or do would trigger their bad tempers. She shivered under the woman’s scrutiny.

“What are we going to do with you?” The woman stepped back and tilted her head one side and then the other.

“Let her work for us.” Dant joined her, and they stood side by side, looking at Dalia.

Lars walked close by and then passed them, heading straight to the cage. “That’s a great idea, methink.”

Dant seemed to think about it for a moment, and then smashed his open palm with a fisted hand. “She could work in my bedchamber.”

Dalia was now uncontrollably shaking.

“Yes! Can she work in my bedchamber too, Catal?” Lars took the woman’s hands in his and jumped up and down, like an overgrown child.

The woman, Catal, slowly shook her head, the beads at the end of her tresses noisily clinking against each other. “You never take care of things. What if you break this one? She looks too scrawny.”

“We’ll take good care of her. We’ll even walk her outside—” Dant’s hands slid up to the woman’s elbows.

Catal forcefully loosened his hold on her arms. “She is a nocturnal. Remember?”

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Friday Snippet #51

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

Gluten-Free red Velvet Cup Cake

To celebrate the very last day of the great Indie Giveaway, I had to have a red velvet cupcake. Also, if you didn’t win my novel, don’t despair. The Priest is $0.99 for the remaining of this week. If you aren’t interested in my gluten-free cupcakes, at least give Mauricio a try!

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

2 cups of Gluten-Free Old Fashioned Cake & Cookie mix

10 tablespoon of Organic coconut oil

3 eggs

1/4 cup of cocoa powder

2 tablespoon of red coloring

For the frosting:

8 oz of mascarpone cheese

4 tablespoon of sugar

lemon zest

In a bowl, starting from the dry ingredients, incorporate the eggs and the coconut oil until a firm dough is obtained. Fill the previously oiled cupcake molds with the dough and bake them at 325F for 28 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting by folding the sugar and the lemon zest to the mascarpone. Let the cupcakes cool and then frost them. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

Behind the Scenes of Angela Roquet’s Covers

I’m always impressed by the amount of work that goes into creating a successful cover. Angela Roquet is here today to talk about the making of her covers. For a chance to win her urban fantasy novel Graveyard Shift  enter the great Indie Giveaway.

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I still have a day job as a graphic designer, so that experience came in handy when I designed my covers. Of course, the covers I usually design are for real estate guide books. I used photoshop for all of them, and I decided from the beginning that I wanted to use really vibrant, bright colors to draw the eye. The first cover is green, and the image is one that I drew by hand and scanned in. It’s a picture of Lana, my main character, from the backside, holding her scythe over her shoulder. I sharpened the image in photoshop and injected some color. Then I used a few fun yet legible fonts to add the title and my name. I used cover2minibsome beveling and shadowing features to enhance the text. I used a more basic font for the cover blurb and subtext. The cover for book two is purple. I took a photo of a boot and applied some artist brush effects to make it look more like a cartoon, and I used the same special brush tool to add the red blood splotches that I used on the scythe for the first book cover. I threw a few daisies in the background to tie-in with the title. The third book cover is a sky blue. I used the silhouette of a crow and added the red blood splotches again. I really like how it turned out. I think keeping it bold and simple is key when it comes to covers.

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 About Angela

Urban Fantasy Author Angela Roquet is a great big weirdo. She collects Danger Girl comic books, owls, skulls, and random craft supplies. She no longer collects paperback books, because she can’t fit any more in her office, however she does collect ebooks. She has an unhealthy obsession with television shows created by Joss Whedon and fantasizes about him directing television or film versions of her novels. Angela’s favorite book/movie is The Wizard of Oz. She likes a little coffee in her cream, and her favorite food is sushi, even though it’s takes her FOREVER to make. Angela is a peace loving, tree hugging hippy who tries to buy organic and local as often as possible. She’s a fan of renewable energy sources, marriage equality, and religious tolerance. As long as whatever you’re doing isn’t hurting anyone, she’s a fan of you, too. Angela lives in Sedalia, Missouri with her husband and son. When she’s not swearing at the keyboard, she enjoys painting, goofing off with her family and friends, and reading books that raise eyebrows. You can find Angela online at http://www.angelaroquet.com

Angela’s first two novels GRAVEYARD SHIFT & POCKET FULL OF POSIES are now available in select stores and on Amazon.com in print and for the Kindle!

http://www.angelaroquet.com
http://www.facebook.com/adroquet
http://www.twitter.com/angelaroquet
http://www.amazon.com/Angela-Roquet/e/B0030CVZ72
http://www.goodreads.com/AngelaRoquet
http://www.youtube.com/angelaroquet

Behind the Scenes of Angela Roquet’s Covers

Jason T. Graves

Jason T. Graves

Today, I’m pleased to have on my blog author Jason T. Graves who playfully accepted to answer my eight questions. His Blood Roses is an original and intriguing take on vampire and biblical mythologies with multiple twists and turns. Enter the great Indie Giveaway for a chance to win a copy.

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1.     When you were a kid you wanted to be…?

Honestly?  I wanted to be an astronaut… I always was a bit of a space case.

2.     The first book you read was…?

I have no clear memory of this, but it was probably Go, Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman.  I still love that book, although my kids keep stealing it from me.  The first novel that I read was Melor, King Arthur’s Page by Catherine Owens Peare.

3.     You discovered you were quite good at writing when…?

I have written fiction for 35 years, but never finished anything beyond a few thousand words.  Writing my Master’s Degree thesis in 2011 taught me the discipline to sit down and write a large body of work, and rewrite, and rewrite.  It was shortly after graduation that I started working in earnest on my first novel, which I finished in 25 weeks and published in 2012.  I am uncertain if I am “good” at writing, but it makes me happy and people enjoy reading what I scribble.

4.     As a reader, your favorite genre is…?

I don’t have a favorite, although I favor science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction.  I read pretty broadly—as time permits—in both fiction and non-fiction.  A writer friend inadvertently introduced me to urban paranormal erotic romance, which was an eye-opening experience.

5.     No, really, what’s that title you’re hiding in your kindle…?

The Daemon Whisperer by Candice Bundy.  It’s a great read, so long as you’re not squeamish about blood and sex.

6.     You write…?

Jason CoverWhenever I can, on whatever topic seizes me at the moment.  I am a disordered writer in many ways.  I’m quite certain I’d be a greater success at this endeavor if I could be more disciplined about writing a certain number of hours every day (and recognize that social media doesn’t count).

7.     The praise about your writing you like the most is…?

“When is the sequel coming out?” is always a good one.  It’s a nice vote of confidence that someone likes your stuff enough to spend more money on it.  Also, having my work compared to well-known authors is thrilling, but it is a lot to live up to. 

8.     What’s next…?

The sequel to Blood Roses is Morning Stars, and it is scheduled for release in late summer 2013.  If people like the first book, they’ll like Morning Stars even more.  The plot is tighter, there are new people and places, and things just get weirder and more beautiful.

Jason Cover 2I am also working on a paranormal thriller/horror novel set in the forested mountains of North Carolina, a dark and gritty near future urban thriller/romance, and a children’s novelette.  That should keep me busy this year, although I have fans clamoring for more about Gretchen Thyrd, the heroine of my On the Bridge novella.  Having too many ideas is a tough problem to live with 😉

About Jason

I live in North Carolina with my family and a menagerie of small animals.  When not spousing, parenting, and teaching, I listen to the voices in my head and write down what they say.  I think that cheese is one of the top ten things ever created by humans.

Where to find Jason and his novels

http://jasontgraves.com     Website  

https://cleverfoilhat.blogspot.com   Blog

https://www.facebook.com/Gravesbooks

https://twitter.com/JasonTGraves

https://goodreads.com/cleverfoilhat

Blood Roses on Amazon:  http://goo.gl/YwkKA

On the Bridge on Amazon:  http://goo.gl/Ww7jq

Jason T. Graves

Elisa Nuckle

The sun shines over Seattle and its suburbia, birds sing on trees, and I’m pleased to start the week by interviewing Elisa Nuckle, the author of Dominant Race. For a chance to win her scifi novella about genetically altered humans, enter the Indie Giveaway. Elisa Pic authorID

1. When you were a kid you wanted to be…?

A musician or a pro volleyball player. Then I started reading like crazy and started writing at around 11 and knew I didn’t want anything but that. Been actively pursuing a career as a fiction writer ever since.

2.     The first book you read was…?

Oh gosh, that’s a tough one. The one I remember that had the most impact was Julie’s Wolf Pack by Jean Craighead-George. From there I started gobbling up chapter books really quickly.

3.     You discovered you were quite good at writing when…?

I liked writing journal entries. When I was 11 I figured, hey, why not make a fanfic of this one anime I like? A year later I hand wrote, in bright pink gel-pen, 50 pages of a fantasy story involving shapeshifting lion-wolf-ish creatures from another world. Haha.

4.     As a reader, your favorite genre is…?

Fantasy. As a writer, I’ve found myself leaning more towards science fiction, which surprised me at first. I still do both, but right now more scifi than fantasy.

5.     No, really, what’s that title you’re hiding in your kindle…?

I admit I read some romance books I wouldn’t want to name because, well, the people I know would embarrass me about it to no end. Haha.

6.     You write…?

Science fiction and fantasy. Sometimes they have heavy romance subplots, other times it’s pretty bleak.

7.     The praise about your writing you like the most is…?

I think the fact that a reader once told me I could make them care while still making it an easy read was a good compliment.

8.     What’s next…?

Dominant Race is the book available in this giveaway. Its sequel, New Fate, is almost Elisa Coverfinished. Then I plan on tacking the third and final book in the Modified Trilogy. Afterward, on to my fantasy series!

About Elisa

Elisa Nuckle is a twenty-something aspiring fantasy and science fiction novelist. It’s always been her dream to chase ideas down and put them into concrete words. Currently, she’s undergoing enlightenment at a community college in Houston, Texas, and plans on getting an English major in the hopefully-not-too-distant future.

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Elisa Nuckle

Sharon Sant

I am pleased to have Sharon Sant on my blog today. Her debut novel, Sky Song, is one of the great books in the Indie Giveaway and it could be yours! The second book in the series, The Young Moon, is soon to be released, so hurry up to read the first. But now, have a little taste of it and read what inspired Sharon to write the Sky Song Trilogy

Sky Song

An unknown past. An unwanted destiny. A fight for survival.
A strange-eyed boy with no memory of his true identity or real parents, Jacob could have no idea of the mortal danger he has been in every day of his fifteen years. Now that danger has found him and suddenly he doesn’t know who he can trust and what is real anymore. All he knows is that his new identity is almost as terrifying as the peril unleashing it has brought. Caught in the universal power struggle of an ancient race of beings and a destiny demanded of him that he does not want, he must fight to protect his own life and everyone he holds dear. But when the time comes, will he be strong enough to make the sacrifices that saving them will demand?

Sky Song – How a tiny idea can grow into a complete trilogy.

Sharon Sant Author PicSky Song started off as a younger children’s tale about a girl whose dad watched the skies every night for something. I don’t even remember now what sparked off the initial idea. Sometimes it can be a throwaway comment, a song lyric, a seemingly innocuous thing. Only the other day an idea came to me from a random comment made on Twitter!

The little girl in my story didn’t know what her father watched for, but it soon became clear to her that whatever it was, it didn’t belong to the world she was familiar with. As I thought about it, though, the idea seemed to morph independently, into something completely different. I started to think about what could come from the starry heavens. My first answer was aliens, but, for me, that was too obvious. Then I got to thinking about all the various belief systems that have stuck with humanity over the years of its evolution, and the one recurring theme was that the stars are linked with our destinies. But what sort of destiny could come from the sky? Cue aliens again! And what would you do if your destiny called but you didn’t want it? That’s the story at the heart of Sky Song.

Sharon Sant CoverAs I worked the story out in my head, the little girl became a fifteen-year-old boy named Jacob. Then came his friends and family. They had to be awesome, ties so strong that there would have to be a really compelling reason for him to accept his new life. So I built him a near-idyllic childhood and a perfect school record with amazing friends and devoted family. Then I made him fall in love before I dropped the bombshell. When you see a story begin to show its shape like this, it’s so exciting, and the story of Sky Song from there almost told itself. It’s at times like these when being an author rocks!

The tale became more and more complex and epic as writing progressed and pretty soon I knew there would have to be more than one book to tell it. So The Young Moon (release date March 8th 2013) followed, then Not of Our Sky shortly afterwards (release date TBC). I plan for the entire trilogy to be available by summer 2013.

To find out more you can catch up with me on my website: www.sharonsant.com or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sharonjsant?ref=hl

Friend me on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6888220.Sharon_Sant

Tweet me on Twitter: @sharonsant

Or you can find out more about the books themselves on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sky-Song-The-trilogy-ebook/dp/B00B0CQWV8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1362222379&sr=1-1

Sharon Sant

Indie Giveaway

Blog Hop Banner 1Welcome to the Indie Giveaway! Eleven talented indie authors have banded together to offer you the chance to win two great prizes. The first haul is 11 ebooks. The second is three signed paperbacks and a $20 Amazon gift voucher. Fantastic prizes? I think so! The giveaway is open from midnight GMT on the 25th February until 11:59pm GMT on the 11th March and there’s loads of ways to gain entries.

First, check out the authors and their books below:

 blog hop version 300 pixelsSky Song, by Sharon Sant: An unknown past. An unwanted destiny. A fight for survival.

DR cover 300x225pxDominant Race, by Elisa Nuckle: Lilia, a genetically altered human called a modified, and her allies must choose: help a tyrannical government in the business of killing their kind, or defend someone in the business of killing everyone else?

EA ThumbnailEarth Angel, by Ruth Ellen Parlour: Earth Angels of Eardecia, fighting against their chosen destiny, discover a secret the God’s never told and use it against their sworn enemy.

GraveyardShiftCover4HopGraveyard Shift, by Angela Roquet: Lana Harvey is a reaper, and a lousy one at that, but when Grim promotes her to a high risk assignment, all hell breaks loose…

Blood Roses FULL cover_Rev B_300dpi (198x300)Blood Roses, by Jason Graves: Madeline and Marissa Owen are identical twins who, with their paper-white skin, look a lot like vampires… well, sometimes, looks can be not at all deceiving.

scironsmallSciron, by David Rashleigh: History, mystery, ghosts and a touch of romance in a Lancashire town.

STORM DANCER cover reduced 300 pixelsStorm Dancer, by Rayne Hall: Dahoud fights to save the woman he loves from the evil inside him.

thepriest_200pxThe Priest, by Monica La Porta: Love doesn’t look at skin color/social status/gender. Society can’t restrain our hearts.

tvf200The Violet Fox, by Clare Marshall: The Violet Fox is Cinderella meets Robin Hood with a dash of The Little Mermaid.

Torched_300Torched, by Andrea Lynn Colt: When cheerleader Rose Whitfield is framed for arson, she sets out to clear her name and take prime suspect Paxton down hard—not necessarily in that order.

TrinityTrinity, by Clare Davidson: Three unlikely companions set out to restore a trinity of gods, which was destroyed a millennium ago.

And now for the giveaways! Both are open internationally.

Giveaway one: A fantastic haul of 11 ebooks! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway two: 3 signed paperbacks and a $20 Amazon gift voucher a Rafflecopter giveaway Good luck!

Indie Giveaway